First recipe from a cooking show

I just finished mine. Alton Brown’s peanut butter fudge. It was really simple, which was the main appeal (plus it doesn’t use any chocolate). It’s good, if rather overly sweet (as fudge usually is).

What’s your first TV recipe, and how did it turn out?

Bonus points: if it turned out poorly, could you fix it?
Extra bonus: can you explain how to fix someone else’s? (Would the “fudge” set up with less sugar?)

I learned to debone a chicken watching Julia Childs show when I was about 9. I watched her do it on tv, then went and got the cookbook and made a ballotin of chicken. I had been doing custards, souffles and quiches for about a year and was interested in more cooking. [I had a portion of ballotin of chicken out to dinner with my mom and dad, and liked it.] Though the recipe I found was for the whole deboned chicken, not a breast portion.

Here’s my one bump for the just getting off work crowd. I know we Dopers love to cook and eat!

I can’t even fathom what my first TV Show recipe was, but I take many of them with a grain of salt…

As a professional chef, I have come to respect America’s Test Kitchen for doing their homework. I have to reverse engineer some of their recipes because they often take professional/ala minute methods and adapt them for home use, which is useless for me. I also trust Alton Brown entirely. I have only used one and a half recipes from him that didn’t turn out perfectly (A crepe batter that was just too thick, and a pop-over recipe that didn’t).

As for the rest, recipes that come from restauranteurs tend to work better then recipes designed solely for the TV show. I recently made an Emeril recipe (because my boss said so) and it came out decent with only minor changes. I was pleasantly surprised. Two other recipes from my boss, pulled out of magazines or TV shows (that is his only culinary experience, which is frustrating) were disasters… Shrimp ceviche that tasted like canned cocktail sauce, and a charred tomato pizza sauce with impossible procedures.

How do I “fix” bad recipes? My favorite culinary school instructor, Chef Wilke, taught me how to identify the purpose of each ingredient and how to logically determine the reasoning behind the procedures. From there, I can identify problems are make improvements. It also doesn’t hurt to try out the recipe once, taste the outcome, and try it again with changes. I perfected a Hush Puppies recipe last week by doing this. I reduced the onion and added water for the first attempt, halved the sugar on the second, and found a happy medium on the sweetness level for the third version. They were phenomenal.

My first and favorite is shockingly a Martha Stewart recipe that comes out right. It’s for a brown sugar refrigerator cookie that’s rolled in raw sugar before the log is refrigerated. She called it a “French Butter Cookie.” It’s a lovely, simple little slice of heaven and still one of my favorite cookies ten years later. I’m not sure it’s even still available on her website. I got it back when she was doing a weekly show and the website has been redone many times since then.

My first real cooking show recipe was from the Frugal Gourmet. It is a pasta dish with sauce made from olive oil, onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, italian sausage, cream and parmesan cheese tossed with penne. It has been in my repetoire for decades, and we still call it “Frug Pasta” when it pops up on the menu.

I also learned to make omelets from his show. Julia’s demonstrations didn’t quite click with me like Jeff Smith’s.

I don’t remember the actual recipe, But it was definitely a chicken stir fry inspired by Martin Yan(Yan can cook!).

It was pretty much a failure because I didn’t know how crappy Electric burners were going to be on my ward sale wok. He tossed his chicken for like 4 minutes, so I did likewise, and after dish assembly I had to microwave it to kill all the nasty salmonellas in my theretofore raw chicken.

Dinner and A Movie: Blackeyed peas cooked with collards and a ham hock. Very tasty, but WAAAAY too salty and therefore inedible, though I could see what they were aiming at. I’ve made it since without the uber-salty ham hock, using a ham bone instead. I may try it with a smoked turkey wing, but it better not be salty.

Baby Back Ribs from Good Eats. It was spareribs, with a dry rub, and cooked with liquids including wine, in the oven in foil. It was mad fun to make and they were good, but not as good as BBQ sauced ribs.

I wouldn’t have the faintest clue. My guess is something from the Frugal Gourmet in the mid-80s, when I was a kid, probably an omelet. I remember making lots of omelets as a kid, which is odd, because I’m not a big omelet fan. I used to also bake and make sweets a lot, also odd, as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth at all.

salinqmind– sounds like you just had an extra salty ham hock. Ham hocks usually have just the right level of salt for greens and peas or beans. Just make sure you don’t additionally salt the dish except at the very end, if needed. If the hocks you buy tend to be salty, you can always soak them in fresh water overnight or just boil it in water for 10-15 minutes, dump the cooking water, and then use them as according to your recipe. I’ve never had problems with hocks being too salty, but certain brands of corned beef I will soak. Salinity varies by producer.

A smoked turkey wing should work just fine, too, in your recipe.

The first recipe from TV that I can remember was a vegetable casserole by Nathalie Dupree. It consisted of layers of sliced squash, potato, apple, and onion with a whole lot of butter poured over the whole thing. I made it as a side dish one Christmas and it was pretty tasty. My Grandmother, who rarely ate anything Mom cooked, had second helpings as I recall.

I do love cooking shows, and I love to cook, and I love to eat, but. . .
I never make ‘recipes’ from cooking shows. How’s that for odd?
Seriously, I use the cooking shows as inspiration for making changes in stuff I already make, tips on making prep more efficient, etc. In other words, the recipes that cooking shows feature are kind of a jumping-off point for me.

Great topic, though! I’ll be watching with lots of interest! :slight_smile:

(Though I’ll probably have to fix breakfast soon. . .)

My first TV recipe was french fries, as Alton Brown directed. This was a smash hit; the fries tasted just like the ones I remember having at Thrasher’s Fries in Ocean City, MD. It’s great knowing that within an hour, I can have a small amount of sublime french fries any time I want.

Oh, good. That’s one of the things I wanted to try out. My family never deep fries anything, for precisely the reason Martha had on the Fish and Chips episode. In fact, for years I wondered why our fried stuff was so different–we were pan frying it.

Some baked-in-a-skillet pasta and cheese dish from Giada. It looked good and had many of my favorite ingredients, so I went to the FN website and printed off her recipe.

I shopped carefully for the ingredients, which IIRC, involved 3 or 4 different types of cheese. One was fontina… a first for us.

I followed the recipe to the letter, proudly upended onto a large round plate and cut wedge-size servings, just like Giada. Ooooh! Pretty!

How did it taste? Like chewing on a salt-lick. Threw that recipe away.

I’ve made Alton Brown’s baklava recipe a couple of times now. It takes a lot of time but comes out quite well.

I’ve been watching cooking shows for as long as I can remember. My Dad loved Justin Wilson, and I watched every cooking show that aired on PBS in the 80’s when I was a kid. I don’t remember what the first recipe I tried from TV was, but I can tell you that about the only show I will deliberately make a recipe from now is Good Eats (Alton Brown). I’ve made A LOT of his recipes and very very few haven’t been good.